By Sawyer Bennett
Score one for the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team as a stone-cold badass melts for a woman who makes his blood run hot.
As one of the league’s toughest enforcers, Van Turner is ruthless on the ice. He plays hard because it’s the only way to channel the rage boiling inside, and a reputation as an A-hole is better than everyone knowing the truth. Van has spent his entire life running from a secret that’s kept him from getting involved in relationships—or accepting lucrative deals with East Coast teams. Then the Carolina Cold Fury makes him an offer he can’t refuse . . . and Van meets a woman he can’t resist.
Simone Fournier is the stubborn one in her family—and that’s saying something, considering her brothers are two of the Cold Fury’s biggest stars. Simone gets what she wants, and what she wants is Van. Still, there’s a part of him Simone can’t reach, no matter how hard she tries. In private, he’s all fire and passion. In public, he freezes her out. Van may want to push her away, but Simone won’t let him go that easily. Because this time, she’s playing for keeps.
After meeting Van in LUCAS, I was very curious about him and wanted to read his story. Though I’m not sure why, because he was rude and not likeable at all, but something about him caught my attention. Spoiler alert, he’s still rude in this book, but overall I liked him. When you hear about what happened in his past and the demons that still follow him today, it’s no wonder he is the way he is.
While I liked Van, I can’t say the same for Simone, and for two main reasons. Firstly, she’s very sexually aggressive towards Van. I’m all for women owning their sexuality and going after what they want, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and her behaviour honestly made me uncomfortable. Secondly, I found her to be contradictory on a few occasions, the biggest example is when it came to her relationship with Van. She says she’ll be patient, that she’ll happily take whatever he can give her and that she’ll always be there, but just a few hours later she’s doubting him and then leaves him the very next day. Her only saving grace is that she did stand by Van when she learnt of his past, when most people probably would have walked—or run—away.
VAN is told in dual POVs, comes with a HEA for Van and Simone, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I am disappointed that this is the second Cold Fury story in a row where I haven’t liked the lead female character, and I hope this isn’t a theme that will continue. That being said, despite not liking Simone—and thinking the blowjob scene with a sweaty Van right after he finished mowing the lawn was gross—I did like VAN. I enjoyed reading it and it easily held my attention, which lately has been a hard thing to do.
Van (Cold Fury Hockey # 9)
Visit Sawyer Bennett: Click Here